The Las Vegas Raiders sit sixty successful minutes away from doing the nearly-unbelievable. With a win against the Kansas City Chiefs, Vegas can sound an alarm to fellow AFC teams. For what seems like the first time in an eternity, the Raiders could surface as a legitimate AFC contender. Granted, 2016 wasn’t that long ago. However, these two teams feel like polar opposites in the way they approach the game. Now, earning a season sweep versus the defending champs isn’t going to be easy. Yet, Vegas can actually pull this off and shock the entire football world in the process. Nothing remains impossible.
Taking Toll on Bell
When the Chiefs signed Le’Veon Bell, people immediately thought that he would replace Clyde-Edwards Helaire in the backfield. Through three games, Bell’s twenty touches amounted in eighty total yards. Now, remember the genius that is Andy Reid on the sideline. Reid spent the bye week developing plays specifically for Bell to exploit the Raiders underneath. Bell, when split out, runs routes like a wideout. He never appears worried or nervous away from the backfield. As a result, the Raiders need to shadow and not allow him to gain any extra yards. If he catches a pass or gets to the perimeter, make the stop.
Attack the Secondary
Outside of Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs look rather suspect in the secondary. In the first game, the Raiders took deep shots, on their way to a forty-point outburst.In this game, that needs to continue. The Chiefs didn’t improve in the defensive backfield. Why give them any relief? Now, if you dismiss the blowout victory versus the Jets, focusing on the Panthers game, you will see the reason. In a two-point victory, the Chiefs allowed Teddy Bridgewater to amass 310 yards and two scores on 73.7 percent. The new Carr needs to keep showing the ability to test the Chiefs.
While Patrick Mahomes lead the Chiefs to a title last year and the team sits at 8-1, this version looks a bit more human. Granted, we all know that Mahomes stands in the conversations the league’s best quarterback. Yet, there is an aspect that he cannot control that could doom him on Sunday. With three of his lineman on the COVID list, one or more could miss the game. That said, teams seem to hit Mahomes at a higher clip this season. In 2019, opponents hit Mahomes thirty-four times all year. In 309 dropbacks over nine games, opponents hit him 25 times. If it takes a blitz, send someone. With the line in flux, the Chiefs’ QB can’t sit back there without pressure.
The Las Vegas Raiders can throw themselves into contender status with a victory against the Chiefs. Not to mention, the divisional tiebreaker and seeding would improve.